The African Union (AU) said Tuesday Ethiopia has the right to intervene militarily in Somalia as it feels threatened by a fundamentalist militia operating there.
The African Union would not criticize Ethiopia as it had "given us ample warning that it feels threatened by the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC)," said Patrick Mazimhaka, deputy chairman of the AU Commission.
"It is up to every country to judge the measure of the threat to its own sovereignty," he said in a statement.
Mazimhaka said the international community had a responsibility to support the transitional government.
The African Union would meet in two days to discuss the situation, he said.
"The African Union must plan to get a force to intercede and stabilize the situation," he added.
Since Sunday, the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, together with the forces of Somalia's Federal Transitional Government (TFG), have launched counterattacks against the UIC in Somalia, saying that their patience "has been exhausted."
At present, the joint forces are advancing on the Somali capital Mogadishu.